2020 is a year of change. Those who were comfortable working from home already with a COVID-proof business, probably didn’t have as much of a shift – aside from the rest of the family being home for the day. I gave up our downtown executive suite several years ago when 50,000 people/mo started moving into Austin. I spent too much time on the road, and my clients didn’t want to come to our office – they wanted us to be in theirs. This created a mini slingshot for us launching a new online platform, online courses, influencer status, and more.
Within 18 months, our podcast #AllAboutThatBrand was given a global branding award – largely because the folks we’re interviewing are rock stars. Early in May, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeremy Miller of ‘Sticky Branding’ fame. He mentioned something on the call – that he was helping his clients ‘slingshot’ out of COVID. I was so struck by the idea, I reached out to Abby and asked her create a shareable graphic we could leverage to tell our version of the story. As a pure award-winning artist, I had to communicate the slingshot concept to her taken right out the Apollo article in Discover Magazine. Short story, a slingshot around the moon is an opportunity to bring your current momentum down and through zero mph into a new direction that slingshots you ahead of where you would’ve been without the gravity of the moon.
The moon I’m referring to is COVID. I’ve been sitting on this graphic for months awaiting some sort of denouement with COVID. Silly me. Thankfully, I haven’t been sitting on anything with respect to our clients. Their requests have been everything from:
How do I use zoom to replace my monthly advisory meeting?
My 2020 speaking engagements cancelled, what do I sell now?
Our revenue flat-lined, what do I do, now?
I don’t use LinkedIn, do I need to?
I need a sales funnel to save my business. Can you guarantee me success?
Do I need to rebrand myself? My business?
to: Are you open for a quick 30-minute call to just talk?
Our VIP clients are our primary focus. These clients invested in me and invested in us to support their next business and branding shifts. Our community service has been largely focused on our clients and on our networks on and offline. To be able to call someone and ask about anything – that is what a VIP relationship is about, no?
Back to the COVID moon – and the slingshot. You may not know I have 2 engineering degrees. I did watch Star Trek and the first Star Wars as a kid alongside my Dad who was a science teacher. Doesn’t everyone know what a space slingshot is?
Jeremy planted a seed in my mind that’s been percolating. The first push through the surface of science to business is this article.
Here’s my version of the COVID Business Slingshot formula:
- What’s your last 24 months business rear view detail (1 slide each on financials, clients, team, sales, marketing, service, valuation).
- What would your next 24 months business forecast have been without COVID.
- Talk LIVE to your top 10 clients. What do they need? [Throw away whatever it was you were offering before and listen.] Consider doing some of it for free or in trade (i.e. for a case study) or by finding a provider that can deliver, or with a stretched out invoicing schedule.
- Talk LIVE to your top 10 prospects. See #4 above.
- Connect LIVE with your team members/mentors/key partners. See #4 above.
- What do you need to do differently? What is your competition doing differently? What are your business influencers doing differently? What are the other industry leaders next to you doing differently that interest you?
- What would you LIKE the next 24 months business forecast to be with COVID. (1 slide each on financials, clients, team, sales, marketing, service, valuation).
- What’s the 100 day plan to fulfill #6. (spreadsheet or project management tool to outline what everyone’s responsible for and supporting and tracking.)
- Wash, rinse, repeat.
I laugh when I think about the saucy Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant telling the passengers to put their mask on FIRST before helping those beside you. I know this is a brutal time for Southwest. Their media page is touting their 2021 schedule, safety measures, & Rapid Rewards opportunities, just in the last couple weeks. I share this because you do need to put your own mask on first – and BREATHE.